Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blog Carnival: What is your favorite material?

Bottle green sea glass from Key West Florida
Choosing only one favorite material was quite a challenge.  My studio has many treasures and there are not many that I would willingly give up.
I asked myself which of these would I miss the most if I could never use it again.
The answer?

sea glass........
beach glass........
mermaid's tears........
Whatever you call them, these beautiful little jewels of the sea make beach combing a great deal of fun.

Sea glass begins as litter from shipwrecks, dumps, and pleasure boaters as well as refuse from other sources. Broken pieces of glass and pottery are tumble polished by waves, sand and rocks to a smoothly etched surface. These ocean frosted gems wash up on beaches all over the world.

Frosted glass from Long Beach in Rockport Massachesetts
Sea glass is common in green, brown and clear (think beer bottles).

Less common colors are light blue, yellow and pink.

Rare finds are bright red, black, cobalt blue and lavender.

Lavender or lilac glass is most often clear glass from the years 1880-1915. Manganese in the glass made during that time period slowly turns the glass to shades of purple when exposed to the sun and other elements.

The process of making a smoothly opaque piece of beach glass with rounded edges takes between 15 to 60 years.

The FamuLeeJewels love the beach and while walking barefoot in the sand Bonnie always keeps her eyes open for pieces of glass and other beach trash to turn into beautiful jewelry.

Much of our sea glass was collected on the beaches of Rockport Massachusetts, the coast of the DelMarVa Peninsula and the warm sands of Key West Florida. Some of our favorite pieces are from a trip to the Rose Island Lighthouse near Newport and from the Dry Tortuga's near Key West. These remote places provide wonderful hunting ground for beach treasures.

That may be why sea glass is my favorite material. I only use what I gather myself and the gathering places are some of my favorite in the world.

Brown bottle sea glass from the shores of the Rose Island Lighthouse
The topic "What is your favorite material?" was chosen as the Starving Artists Team's Blog Carnival topic for the month of January. Here are the favorite materials of other jewelry artists.



Island Girl



  1. Great blog entry! I have a bunch of sea glass that I got down in Texas that I'm inspired to make something with now!

  2. Amazing that one can make such beautiful jewelry with old pieces of glass. I would love to see that kind of glass in "real" and touch it, never found a piece, but I haven't been on so many beaches in my life :)

  3. To be combine your work with nature would be amazing - I love the pieces you have created with sea glass, wish I could live closer to the beach, it sounds heavenly.

  4. I wish I lived closer to the beach too Caron and Sylvia. I love the water and we plan ocean type vacations at least once a year.
    Katrina you really should make some of your glass up. Not only is it beautiful but gives you lovely memories when you wear it.